A lizard hiding out on a tree. In late 2003, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy completed the long-awaited purchase of the 2,983-acre Ahmanson Ranch, a stunningly beautiful property in the Simi Hills in Ventura County nestled at the western edge of the San Fernando Valley. The new parkland is contiguous with and accessed from the existing 2,650-acre Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Park.
The huge parkland is part of a critical ecological linkage and wildlife corridor between the Santa Monica Mountains and the ranges to the north. Rolling hills studded with valley oaks, sycamore-lined canyon bottoms, miles of potential trails, and vistas of unspoiled California landscapes are now part of a parkland legacy. Diverse habitats and endangered species such as the California red-legged frog, the San Fernando Valley spineflower, and the Southwestern willow flycatcher are now permanently protected. The ranch encompasses headwaters of Malibu Creek which flows to Santa Monica Bay and supports one of the few populations of Southern steelhead trout. Historical reports indicate the fish may have traveled unimpeded upstream to streams on the Ahmanson Ranch.
Access to the park is at the Victory Trailhead at the western terminus of Victory Boulevard in West Hills, at the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Trailhead at the northern end of Las Virgenes Canyon Road in Calabasas, and through trails headed east on the National Park Service land at Cheesebro Canyon. The trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians during daylight hours. No unauthorized motorized vehicles are allowed.